Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd agrees to return to UK

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has agreed to be extradited back to the UK.

Shepherd, 31, went on the run as he faced trial over the death of Charlotte Brown, 24, on a champagne-fuelled first date when his speedboat overturned in the River Thames.

He was convicted of her manslaughter in his absence at the Old Bailey and sentenced to six years in jail.

More follows…

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd agrees to return to UK

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has agreed to be extradited back to the UK.

Shepherd, 31, went on the run as he faced trial over the death of Charlotte Brown, 24, on a champagne-fuelled first date when his speedboat overturned in the River Thames.

He was convicted of her manslaughter in his absence at the Old Bailey and sentenced to six years in jail.

More follows…

NASA cancels first all-female spacewalk after spacesuit blunder

NASA has cancelled plans for the first all-female spacewalk aboard the International Space Station because of a shortage of appropriate spacesuits.

Christina Koch and Anne McClain were due to embark on the historic assignment on Friday.

Ms McClain had performed the first spacewalk of her career with fellow astronaut Nick Hague on 22 March.

But the space agency says the all-female pairing now has to be delayed because only one medium-sized spacesuit is available.

Image: Anne McClain gestures as she boards the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft

In a statement, NASA added: “Koch had been scheduled to conduct this spacewalk with astronaut McClain, in what would have been the first all-female spacewalk.

“However, after consulting with McClain and Hague following the first spacewalk, mission managers decided to adjust the assignments, due in part to spacesuit availability on the station.”

During the assignment, NASA says Ms McClain learned “that a medium-size hard upper torso – essentially the shirt of the spacesuit – fits her best”.

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Only one of these is available aboard the ISS for Friday’s mission, prompting NASA to decide that it should be worn by Ms Koch so she can embark on the first spacewalk of her career.

“McClain now is tentatively scheduled to perform her next spacewalk – the third in this series – on Monday 8 April with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques,” NASA added.

Friday’s spacewalk will see the astronauts continue work to install “powerful lithium-ion batteries for one pair of the station’s solar arrays”.

A NASA handout of astronaut Scott Kelly floating during a spacewalk in 2015

Image: A NASA handout of astronaut Scott Kelly floating during a spacewalk in 2015

Ms McClain was the 13th woman to perform a spacewalk, and Ms Koch is going to become the 14th.

They were both part of NASA’s 2013 Astronaut Class, made up of four men and four women.

NASA is about halfway through replacing 48 batteries with ones that are expected to last the remainder of the station’s life.

The space station uses solar panels to generate power, however the batteries are used when it is in the dark and not getting power from the sun.

US to start building 57 miles of 18ft-high fences along Mexican border

Army engineers have received permission to start planning and building 57 miles of 5.5m (18ft) high fencing along the US border with Mexico.

The Pentagon is diverting $1bn (£758m) of funding to support the project, which acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan says is designed to block “drug-smuggling corridors”.

The fencing is going to be erected in Yuma, Arizona and El Paso, Texas – and both areas have recently seen illegal border crossings increase.

Many of those who attempt to cross are asylum-seeking families from Central America.

Image: Patrick Shanahan (C) says the $1bn (£758m) will be used to build the wall

A statement explained that the funds will also be used for “constructing and improving roads and installing lighting” to support counter-narcotic activities undertaken by federal law enforcement agencies.

Building a border wall to stop criminals from entering the US was a key promise of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 – but at the time, he had claimed it would be paid for by Mexico, not American taxpayers.

The president caused controversy when he declared that there is a national emergency at the Mexican border.

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A vote designed to try and override this declaration appears certain to fail when it reaches the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

If it does fail, Mr Trump will be able to shift an additional $3.6bn (£2.7bn) from military construction projects to building a barrier along America’s southwest boundary.

The Pentagon building in Washington, DC

Image: The Pentagon is diverting $1bn (£758m) of funding to support the project

After the Pentagon’s $1bn transfer to commence wall construction in Arizona and Texas, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted: “Christmas came early this week.”

That message, which was retweeted by the president, may also have been referring to Robert Mueller’s investigation, which found no evidence that Mr Trump’s campaign “conspired or co-ordinated” with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

The $1bn transfer has been criticised by some Democratic senators, who claim it is taking place without congressional approval and amounts to a “dollar-for-dollar theft from other readiness needs of our armed forces”.

In response to a letter written by Mr Shanahan, senators including Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dick Durbin of Illinois said they had “serious concerns that the department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military”.

US to start building 57 miles of 18ft-high fences along Mexican border

Army engineers have received permission to start planning and building 57 miles of 5.5m (18ft) high fencing along the US border with Mexico.

The Pentagon is diverting $1bn (£758m) of funding to support the project, which acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan says is designed to block “drug-smuggling corridors”.

The fencing is going to be erected in Yuma, Arizona and El Paso, Texas – and both areas have recently seen illegal border crossings increase.

Many of those who attempt to cross are asylum-seeking families from Central America.

Image: Patrick Shanahan (C) says the $1bn (£758m) will be used to build the wall

A statement explained that the funds will also be used for “constructing and improving roads and installing lighting” to support counter-narcotic activities undertaken by federal law enforcement agencies.

Building a border wall to stop criminals from entering the US was a key promise of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 – but at the time, he had claimed it would be paid for by Mexico, not American taxpayers.

The president caused controversy when he declared that there is a national emergency at the Mexican border.

More from Donald Trump

A vote designed to try and override this declaration appears certain to fail when it reaches the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

If it does fail, Mr Trump will be able to shift an additional $3.6bn (£2.7bn) from military construction projects to building a barrier along America’s southwest boundary.

The Pentagon building in Washington, DC

Image: The Pentagon is diverting $1bn (£758m) of funding to support the project

After the Pentagon’s $1bn transfer to commence wall construction in Arizona and Texas, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted: “Christmas came early this week.”

That message, which was retweeted by the president, may also have been referring to Robert Mueller’s investigation, which found no evidence that Mr Trump’s campaign “conspired or co-ordinated” with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

The $1bn transfer has been criticised by some Democratic senators, who claim it is taking place without congressional approval and amounts to a “dollar-for-dollar theft from other readiness needs of our armed forces”.

In response to a letter written by Mr Shanahan, senators including Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Dick Durbin of Illinois said they had “serious concerns that the department has allowed political interference and pet projects to come ahead of many near-term, critical readiness issues facing our military”.

Conor McGregor announces his retirement

Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor has announced his retirement on Twitter.

McGregor, 30, wrote: “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today.

“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.

“I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”

The move comes just days after the UFC fighter was arrested in Miami Beach after allegedly smashing a fan’s phone.

He was charged with strong-arm robbery and criminal mischief and was released from custody in the Florida city after posting his bond of $12,500 (£9,450).

At the time, the Miami Herald said McGregor had been in Florida for a couple of weeks on holiday as he prepared for a comeback.

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Recent photos shared on his Instagram stories show him appearing to fight an alligator, and going on a boat tour with his wife and son.

McGregor lost his last fight in October 2018, to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and also lost a boxing match to Floyd Mayweather.

In January this year, he was banned for six months and fined £38,095 for his part in a brawl after his defeat to Khabib.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib was also suspended for his role in the incident.

Image: Controversial martial arts star Conor McGregor says he is retiring

In April last year, Irish mixed martial arts star McGregor and others stormed a UFC event at the Barclays Center in New York in April.

Video footage showed people attempting to restrain McGregor as he appeared to throw a railing at a bus carrying Khabib and a number of other UFC fighters.

In a statement after one of his court appearances, McGregor said: “I regret my actions that led me here today.

“I understand the seriousness of this matter and I am hopeful this will get worked out.”

McGregor has recently launched a fashion line called August McGregor, which sells modern suits to millennials. He also launched his own whiskey last year, named after the Dublin neighbourhood where he grew up.

Pina Coladas on me! McGregor announces retirement

Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor has announced his retirement on Twitter.

McGregor, 30, wrote: “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today.

“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.

“I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”

The move comes just days after the UFC fighter was arrested in Miami Beach after allegedly smashing a fan’s phone.

He was charged with strong-arm robbery and criminal mischief and was released from custody in the Florida city after posting his bond of $12,500 (£9,450).

At the time, the Miami Herald said McGregor had been in Florida for a couple of weeks on holiday as he prepared for a comeback.

More from World

McGregor started his MMA career in 2008 and won both the Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Championships in 2012. He held both titles simultaneously before vacating them to sign with the UFC.

Image: Floyd Mayweather Jr throws a punch at Conor McGregor during their super welterweight boxing match

He is the biggest pay-per-view (PPV) draw in MMA history, headlining four out of the six highest-selling UFC pay-per-view events. McGregor’s boxing match with Floyd Mayweather drew 4.3m PPV buys in North America – the second most in history.

But he has had several run-ins with the law, with Irish leader Leo Varadkar last week distancing himself from the MMA star because he did not want to be associated with his unlawful actions.

Mr Varadkar was accused of snubbing the MMA star at a St Patrick’s Day march in Chicago, with critics noting the leader had moved away from McGregor upon noticing he was there.

Leo Varadkar

Image: Leo Varadkar

Mr Varadkar later said: “Obviously he’s had some trouble with the law in recent months, and I wouldn’t condone or like to be associated with the kind of actions he’s been involved in, which include prosecution in New York and a potential prosecution in Florida.”

Recent photos shared on McGregor’s Instagram stories show him appearing to fight an alligator, and going on a boat tour with his wife and son.

McGregor lost his last fight in October 2018, to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and also lost a boxing match to Mayweather.

In January this year, he was banned for six months and fined £38,095 for his part in a brawl after his defeat to Khabib.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib was also suspended for his role in the incident.

Conor McGregor failed to win back the UFC lightweight title

Image: Controversial martial arts star Conor McGregor says he is retiring

In April last year, Irish mixed martial arts star McGregor and others stormed a UFC event at the Barclays Center in New York.

Video footage showed people attempting to restrain McGregor as he appeared to throw a railing at a bus carrying Khabib and a number of other UFC fighters.

In a statement after one of his court appearances, McGregor said: “I regret my actions that led me here today.

“I understand the seriousness of this matter and I am hopeful this will get worked out.”

McGregor has recently launched a fashion line called August McGregor, which sells modern suits to millennials. He also launched his own whiskey last year, named after the Dublin neighbourhood where he grew up.

Israel continues hitting Gaza targets after rocket attack

Israeli forces have continued to hit targets across the Gaza Strip, just hours after a ceasefire was reported to have taken effect.

The ceasefire was brokered by Egypt on Monday but shortly afterwards there were air raid sirens heard in southern Israel and rocket fire reported from Gaza.

At least 30 rockets were fired into Israel on Monday, according to Israel, but nearly all of them were intercepted or landed in uninhabited areas.

But six Israelis were injured when a rocket landed on a home in a farming community.

The Iron Dome rocket defence system had not been activated because the attack was unexpected.

In retaliation, Israel hit back with 15 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, including the offices of Hamas’s supreme leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The building was destroyed, as was another in Gaza City that Israelis identified as the militant group’s military intelligence headquarters.

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Seven Palestinians were injured but none were killed, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Image: A house was hit by a rocket in the village of Mishmeret, injuring six Israelis

Commenting on the rockets fired into Israel, the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate this.”

Speaking during a meeting at the White House with US President Donald Trump, he added: “Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression.

“We will do whatever we must do to defend our people and defend our state.”

The renewed violence comes as Mr Netanyahu faces a tough race for re-election on 9 April, with critics accusing him of being too soft on Hamas.

He has been indirectly involved in the ceasefire talks through Egyptian mediators and he even allowed Qatari aid to be delivered to Hamas to help those in Gaza.

Also, he is facing allegations of corruption.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands while walking through the colonnade prior to an Oval Office meeting at the White House March 25, 2019 in Washington, DC

Image: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been visiting US president Donald Trump

Hamas, meanwhile, has its own problems: the US has recently recognised Israel’s control of the Golan Heights and the Israel-Egyptian blockade, sanctions by the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas’s own incompetence have worsened the economic situation in Gaza.

More than half of those living in the strip are unemployed.

Last week hundreds of Gazans protested against the poor conditions but Hamas responded by beating and arresting dozens of them.

In a statement, Mr Haniyeh said Palestinians “will not surrender” and their militants “will deter the enemy if it exceeds the red lines”.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars, the most recent in 2014, which lasted 50 days and killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis.

Father of Sandy Hook shooting victim takes his own life

The father of a child killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has died in an apparent suicide, police have said.

Jeremy Richman’s body was found outside his office on Monday morning in Newtown, Connecticut.

The 49-year-old’s daughter Avielle Richman was one of 26 victims in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012.

She was six years old.

After her funeral, Mr Richman and his wife created a foundation in her name aimed at preventing violence by understanding brain health.

Mr Richman hoped the work done by The Avielle Foundation would prevent other families from experiencing the pain that he felt.

Image: Mr Richman (pictured on the right) became a well-known advocate locally and nationally

After his death, The Avielle Foundation said in a statement: “Our hearts are shattered, and our heads are struggling to comprehend.

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“Tragically, his death speaks to how insidious and formidable a challenge brain health can be and how critical it is for all of us to seek help for ourselves, our loved ones and anyone who we suspect may be in need.”

Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, was also killed at Sandy Hook, said: “I give Jeremy credit for what he accomplished with his work and his amazing strength that grew through the years.”

As an advocate, Mr Richman had become well-known locally and nationally.

Last week he visited parents of the victims of another school shooting – last year’s at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people were killed.

In the past few days, two survivors of that shooting have taken their own lives.

Sydney Aiello

Image: Sydney Aiello killed herself last week, months after surviving a school shooting

Sydney Aiello had suffered from survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder after losing her friend in the attack, her mother said.

Her fear of being in a classroom after the shooting had left her struggling to go to college.

The second person was a young man who has not been publicly named.

Dr Louis Kraus, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Centre, said that exposure to violence is one of the biggest risk factors for suicide.

He said that, even if a person was not hit by bullets or did not see shots fired, anyone affected by a school shooting is at risk.

“The scars simply don’t go away with a fresh coat of paint,” he said.

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

Cyclone Idai: International aid easing 'chaos and confusion'

Where there was chaos and much confusion, now there is action at the humanitarian response centre in the Mozambican city of Beira.

Authorities and international aid agencies know what they are dealing with and have begun to tackle it.

Cyclone Idai has displaced 230,000 – and many more lack food and clean water.

UNICEF warns that 900,000 children have been affected – either orphaned, separated from their families or lacking basic necessities.

Image: Much of the aid arriving in Mozambique has come from Britain

However, help has arrived and much of it is from Britain.

The Department for International Development (DIFD) has sent 20 tonnes of aid to Mozambique along with specialised equipment like forklifts.

The agency has also sent water purifiers – a piece of equipment that is absolutely crucial in the battle to prevent the spread of cholera.

More from Mozambique

That there will be outbreaks of this potentially fatal water-borne disease has already been accepted.

Helicopters are being used to deliver aid to those who need it

Image: Helicopters are being used to deliver aid to those who need it

People in Mozambique are in need of international aid

Image: People in Mozambique are in need of international aid

Today, the Mozambican minister for land and the environment, Celso Correia, said their strategy was all about containing it.

“We have a lot of diarrhoea but teams are working on the ground to see if it is really cholera or not but… there will be cholera.

“The government is putting (in) prevention and treatment centres specific for cholera in the districts affected.”

DIFD is also supplying high energy biscuits and a nutritional paste, which do not sound particularly appetising, but benefit from the fact that they do not need to be cooked.

No aid, no government - just a rusty fishing boat to flee Cyclone Idai carnage in Mozambique

No aid, no government – just a rusty fishing boat to flee Cyclone Idai carnage in Mozambique

The deck of the fishing boat was packed with residents from a town where people are now surviving on the roofs of their homes.

Many people lack dry firewood or pots to make their meals in.

The supplies have to get to the people on the ground and that is where the World Food Program’s (WFP) helicopter comes in.

Sky News witnessed British aid being delivered to an isolated spot called Goonda.

Floodwaters have now receded in much of the country

Image: Floodwaters have now receded in much of the country

Until a few days ago this town was entirely inaccessible but the floodwaters have been receding and the pilots can now put their aircraft down.

A human chain was assembled as the helicopter landed and the cargo was unloaded in a matter of minutes.

A large crowd turned up to watch.

One man said: “We’re all suffering.”

Pedro Matos, emergency co-ordinator for the WFP in Mozambique, is also worried about the people who live in other parts of this district.

He said: “There are parts that we know and (where) we are doing operations but we need to keep some flexibility.

“For instance, yesterday, we reached a place 18km from here that we didn’t know … so we redirected a helicopter.”

Pedro Matos is the emergency coordinator for the World Food Programme in Mozambique

Image: Pedro Matos is the emergency co-ordinator for the World Food Programme in Mozambique

This disaster demands an international response with resources that the government of Mozambique cannot provide.

Today the country’s ex-president, Joaquim Alberto Chissano, expressed his thanks.

He said: “I am very much grateful for the response from the international community … because the knowledge of what is happening when there are calamities like this comes a bit late and the government does not know how to make an appeal because the government may not what is happening.”

Mr Chisanno wants the UK to stick around and the British public have answered his call, raising £18m in the recent Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal.

It will go some way to help this battered nation rebuild.

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